Sheren Khalel reports on the memorial ceremony that marked Basil al-Araj’s status as a “martyr” in his West Bank hometown of al-Walaja, “Less than two months after his death, the image of Basil al-Araj, clad in a red checkered keffiyeh loosely wrapped around his neck and thick black-rimmed glasses settled over a thoughtful expression has become iconic. Palestinian youth have swapped their profile-photo-selfies for the slain leader’s image across social media circles. The image appears on local artwork, graffiti murals, t-shirts and posters from Haifa to Hebron.”
Category Archives: Middle East
Steven Salaita writes: “Palestine isn’t the totality, or the crux, of today’s debates about speech and resistance on campus. There’s too much repression preceding Palestine, and now in existence alongside it, for that to be true. But Palestine deeply informs the substance of those debates, and by recovering this sunken reality we can better understand the disputes around free speech and academic freedom that generate so much attention.”
An honest press account of the Syrian war would still make Assad look like the war criminal he is, but the negative effects of our massive military aid to Assad opponents and the complexity of the war are ignored in favor of one sided moralizing with us as the good guys who haven’t intervened enough. Indeed, some liberals in the press prefer Trump to Obama in Syria.
Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta first met during a debate in Paris hosted by the United Nations, “years ago.” Since then the have maintained a correspondence, pieces of which have already been published by Avnery in his column. In the exchange Abu Sitta writes, “I realize you did not wish to reply to my letters. They are either painful or could not be rebutted. Certainly they are not irrelevant. I keep writing to you since we met in Paris over a decade ago because I think you have unique characteristics. You have been a terrorist. You witnessed al Nakba, so you cannot deny it. You tried to forge peace with Palestinians (only on Zionist terms). You have a grasp of all the facts. So you cannot claim ‘I did not know’. Then WHY you are still in a Denial Bubble?”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the Iran deal was “failed approach” the same day we learn Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million to Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
Haifa Khalidi remembers the destruction of the Mughrabi Quarter in Jerusalem, June 11-12, 1967. “Two days and two night. I remember the noise, the dust, the screams, the tears. The residents had two hours to collect their belongings and leave their houses forever.”
Last week Israeli PM Netanyahu announced that Israel would mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War in an illegal settlement, an official celebration of 50 years of occupation and human rights violations. The story has so far gotten no attention in the U.S.
President Donald Trump’s admission on Fox that he ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria between bites of “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” makes it the second time he has launched a military attack during a meal.
For the price of 59 Tomahawk missiles, Donald Trump managed to align himself with the DC establishment, recapture corporate media, distance himself from the controversial and fascistic Bannon and as an added bonus, increase his popularity among American Jews and Israelis. His move threw egg in the face at those who underestimated his prowess. Trump’s gambit worked.
Two days ago, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone was sentenced to another year of suspension after a hearing by the Labour Party’s national constitutional committee (NCC) concerning his remarks on Hitler’s temporary support for Zionism. This never happened to Benjamin Netanyahu when he manipulated the history of the Holocaust. Discrediting Livingstone is necessary to preserve Zionism’s rosy image.
Iris Keltz was shocked when she first heard leaders of the Jewish community in Albuquerque denounce the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement started by Palestinians. “Call me naive, but considering Israelis had been living under the threat of bombs exploding on buses, in shopping malls, restaurants, and other public places, there should have been a collective sigh of relief when Palestinian civil society chose a non-violent means to resist a fifty year old military occupation.”
Haley’s quarter-of-an-hour talk at the convention was a rather unbelievably bellicose, chauvinist, bigoted and racist run. She said her high heels were made for kicking, and bragged about booting the most moderate Palestinian leader of all, Salam Fayyad, from a UN position.
Haider Eid writes, “A meaningful, just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question must include all Palestinians, including those in the West Bank and Gaza, those who remained in Israel, and the 1948 Palestinian refugees. This is what Omar has been calling for – and what he continues to call for in his latest statement. This steadfastness of the BDS movement and its unwavering commitment to justice for all Palestinians is the real reason behind the false campaign against Omar; and this is why the BDS movement must, as Omar has called for – intensify its work, so that Israel is forced to comply with international law. More BDS is the way to end apartheid in Israel as apartheid was ended in South Africa.”
Amid the quiet of Gaza’s white sand dunes that cover the grounds of Israeli settlements evacuated more than a decade ago, Palestinian actors playing ultra-orthodox Israelis get in a fight. They are shooting the dramatic series “Heaven’s Gate” on the Hamas-owned Al Aqsa TV network, which will premiere this summer during Ramadan. The show is filming in Gaza, but the show is set in Jerusalem, and the city has been recreated inside of the besieged strip. This is as close to visiting the holy city as any of the actors have come.
After many months of speculation, Michael Kaydar, a Jewish teenage resident of Ashkelon in Southern Israel, has been charged with carrying out the JCC bomb threats. One aspect of the story, and its connection to an Israeli, that has not been discussed is the intense loathing of the Jewish Diaspora in classical Zionist thought. Kaydar has opened a chasm in the relationship between Israelis and the Jewish Diaspora and reignited the most elementary questions about Jewish identity in the supercharged atmosphere of Trumpworld Fascism and its intense racism; a racism which is not limited to White Christians, but is also present in their Israeli Jewish counterparts.
In her book, “Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine” Dr. Alice Rothchild emotes courage and sincerity to a degree that begs analysis: Who is she addressing and to what end? The book’s title answers the latter of the two interrelated questions: All those who are genuinely concerned with Israel/Palestine should better rush to resuscitate their critically ill charge before it is too late because “the Israeli government is on a suicide mission.” All through her book Dr. Rothchild bears witness to how critical and unjust the condition is.
Soccer club Beitar Nordia was formed to allow Beitar fans to separate from racist Beitar Jerusalem and its fanbase La Familia. “We aim to provide a voice to the silent majority who oppose La Familia,” says chairman Itsek Alfasi.
Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James write: “Attacking the International Women’s Strike on March 8, supporters of Israel argued that the decolonization of Palestine has no place in feminism and further asked if there is a place for Zionists in the feminist movement. We turn the question around and ask if the occupation of Palestine, the bombings of Gaza, the apartheid that applies two separate and unequal systems to Israel’s relationship to Palestinians – can be compatible with feminism? While Israel’s apologists were posing such questions, the Israeli army, as reported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, was busy shutting down two events in Jerusalem marking International Women’s Day.”
Gerald Kaufman, who died on February 26th 2017 at the age of 86, served as a member of Parliament for 47 continuous years and became the Father of the House of Commons. In his early years as an MP Kaufman was a strong supporter of the Israeli state and was a member of both Labour Friends of Israel and Poalei Zion, the British wing of the Israeli Labour Party. Tony Greenstein writes, “Perhaps the most fitting tribute to Gerald Kaufman that there can be was that he wasn’t a hypocrite. Kaufman had grown up with Labour Zionism and its myth of making the desert bloom, but unlike most supporters of Zionism in the Labour Party today, Gerald Kaufman was sincere in wanting to see a two-state solution. For him it wasn’t a convenient cover for an apartheid Greater Israel. Kaufman was quite sincere in his hostility to Israeli rule over millions of Palestinians and he didn’t hesitate to speak out against the occupation and repression that it entailed.”
In a new book, The Rise of the Arab American Left, Pamela Pennock, a history professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, documents the rise of Arab American leftwing political activism after the 1967 war, including organizations such as the Arab American Ass’n of University Graduates that built coalitions on the left.
Contradicting the liberal press, Edward Snowden says the Deep State are government policy-making individuals who survive changes in the presidency, and do things like authorize torture.
The media has embraced Team Israel’s unlikely success at the World Baseball Classic, referring to the team as a “Cinderella” story, “David and Goliath,” and a “fairy-tale.” In this “softball” coverage, Israel—home to the most powerful military in the Middle East and a cruel system of apartheid directed at the Palestinian people—gets to be the plucky, lovable underdog. Writing in the Forward, David Hazony argues “Team Israel is very much the story of Israel itself,” but central to the story of Israel itself is also the dispossession and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their lands and a decades-long occupation.
Israel seems to be cracking down on activists who support boycott. It detained Jeff Halper the human rights activist in East Jerusalem and did not allow Hugh Lanning, head of British Palestine Solidarity Committee, to enter the country.
Bill Clinton deplores identity politics for creating an “us-and-them” world in which nobody wants to live “under the same set of rules.” And Yitzhak Rabin would never have divided Jerusalem, his late wife Leah believed.